Ok world…I am ready.
I am ready to become a midwife. I am ready to be a mom. But is being ready all that it takes? In the past few years, I have heard so many different stories about how families became pregnant. Some have it happen with ease and some experience years of struggle. My story has both points of difficulty and points of ease. I have learned that fertility is not constant. It is evolving based on a person’s ever-changing circumstances.
A Different Kind of Organization
In January of 2013, I find myself quickly approaching being married for 5 years and completing 3 years of midwifery school. I start to think what I wanted the next year of my life look like (besides becoming a midwife). A baby. Yes, we are ready for a child. It will be perfect timing… become pregnant, graduate school in May, study for my exam while growing my baby, pass my boards, deliver my baby, and after a few months I can start a new midwifery job. What a perfect plan! My inner desire for organization (as it was in 2013) was so satisfied. But I now know in 2019 with 4 children, you plan for nothing and prepare for everything. A different type of organization.
Even with all my fresh knowledge about women’s health, I thought that when I stopped my birth control, I would be pregnant right away. I was of course wrong! After three months of negative pregnancy tests, my body did something different. My cervical mucus was not consistent anymore… it was cyclically changing and so was the length of time between periods, not like clockwork anymore but a bit more natural and spontaneous. I realized that I was finally ovulating again! I was learning to become a medical expert on a women’s body but was clueless about my own. I started tracking (on an app of course) my periods, cervical mucus, moods, and any other changes, finally paying full attention to my body. But alas months had passed, and I was stressed (with an upcoming graduation, and being on call almost constantly hoping to catch every baby that I could with Midwives of NJ). Stress raises Cortisol levels. These factors are not helpful when it comes to regular ovulation and conception and I knew it. But we couldn’t stop now there was a baby to make!
April and May also brought negative pregnancy tests to my bathroom counter even though I knew I was ovulating. So, my husband and I started thinking that we would get through my graduation, I would take my boards, and we would go on a trip with friends to celebrate my new career path. A break in the active baby making was in order (besides my June ovulation was most likely going to be on a weekend that I was away). I could feel my stress levels decrease as I collected my diploma and accepted a job with the Midwives of NJ. We went on with our normal lives. But again, my body was doing something different by the middle of June. I was nauseous and my breasts were tender. Could it be? A conception occurred?
The test was positive! What a joy after 6 months of wanting this. But now the waiting game. To see if everything was going to progress and be ok. And I had to tell my new job that I was expecting. Would they accept my need to take maternity leave so soon? I was nervous about everything. The timing, the difficulties with work, how to be the best midwife and patient at the same time, or the reality that I might need to throw up during my midwifery exam. Ahh! But, being pregnant and a new midwife was definitely one of the best learning experiences of my life. This was the world telling me that it was ready for me to become a Mama Midwife.